Choux pastry

Choux pastry

French Lessons
500 g
10 mins
Cooking time
20 mins
Steve Brown

Choux pastry is quite different from other pastries and far and away the easiest to make. It’s one of the essential items of French patisserie, used to make crisp hollow pastry shells that neatly contain rich creamy fillings. Unlike other pastries, choux is cooked twice. First butter is melted with water and brought to the boil. Flour is then tipped in and vigorously beaten to form a panade – a dryish ball that comes away from the sides of the pan. Eggs are added one by one – and this part does require a bit of elbow-grease – and the smooth, shiny dough is then piped into little mounds or long fingers to bake. One of the most important things to remember about cooking choux is not to take it out of the oven too soon. It invariably looks done before it is sufficiently dry and crisp – there is nothing worse than soggy choux!


Quantity Ingredient
160ml water
pinch salt
pinch sugar
65g butter
100g plain flour, sifted
4 eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Combine the water, salt, sugar and butter in a large heavy-based saucepan and heat gently over a moderate heat until the butter melts. Bring to the boil. Add the flour all at once and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough is smooth.
  2. Lower the heat and continue to beat the dough for another couple of minutes. It will begin to thicken and dry until eventually it will come away from the side of the pan in a ball. Tip the dough into the bowl of your electric mixer and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the eggs, a quarter at a time. Beat well after each addition so that it is thoroughly incorporated before you add the next. Continue beating until you have a smooth paste, the texture of a stiff cake mix. Use straight away.
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